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VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
December 2011 Alexandria, VA
Inside this Issue
• Convocation Photos • VTS Field Study: Haiti • Evangelism Matters 6 9 10
Message from the Dean
A Board Engaged: An Historic Meeting at VTS
The November 9th meeting of Virginia Seminary’s Board of Trustees will have ramifications for the Seminary for years to come. The day before the board meeting, the trustees gathered for their customary committee meetings followed by a tour of new and renovated spaces on campus. This tour was especially important because it aptly demonstrated that decisions at the Seminary are taken thoughtfully and with considerable analysis. The installation of a new heating and cooling system, for example, was a journey of deliberation that started over eight years ago. When it became clear that potentially dire consequences (like no air-conditioning in August!) might arise unless the system was attended to urgently, we realized that a decision was required. On Wednesday morning, the trustees began at 8:00 a.m. for a full and hectic board meeting. First up was governance. The trustees decided to move from a representative board to a board of “Trustees at Large.” In addition, there was a sense that the Board needed to be smaller, more nimble and national. As one expects from the Seminary, this change will be implemented gradually. This is, however, a major transformation of governance. The next substantial item was the report from Buildings and Grounds. With representatives from Robert A. M. Stern Architects, Michael Vergason Landscape Architects LTD, and Advanced Project Management present, the board listened to the presentation. The designs for the new chapel are compelling and beautiful; the proposed modest entrance to the Welcome Center will be just right. Moving the entrance on Seminary Road to the west, away from the brow of the hill, is long overdue. After appropriate conversation, these resolutions were approved. Can we afford all this work? This was the next item on the agenda. How is the quiet phase of the Chapel for the Ages capital campaign progressing? The Board then heard that we still have some way to go but progress to date is very encouraging. Sometimes there are meetings when we sense the Holy Spirit doing important work. This was one such meeting for me. Naturally there were disagreements; everyone understood the enormity of the decisions being taken; and there remains some nervousness as to how things will unfold. The work of the Board is to ensure that the Seminary can continue in the future to form leaders for the Episcopal Church. These decisions will ensure that the Seminary can continue to fulfill its mission. Thanks be to God!
ome meetings in life are more significant than others. In this issue of News from the Hill, I want to share with you the details of a meeting that I consider “historic.”
Virginia Theological Seminary
The Rt. Rev. James J. Shand Chairman of the Board Ms. Sissy Poland Vice Chairman of the Board Dr. David H. Charlton Secretary/Treasurer The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President Mr. Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D. Vice President The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. Vice President Ms. Heather Zdancewicz Vice President, Assistant Treasurer & Assistant Secretary
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Mrs. Auguste J. Bannard (2016) Mr. David Booth Beers (2015) Mr. Julian M. Bivins, Jr. (2012) The Rev. Catherine M. Campbell (2014) Dr. David H. Charlton (2016) The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke (2012) The Rev. Dr. Harold J. Cobb, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Carlotta A. Cochran (2014) Dr. Lynwood D. I. Day (2013) Mr. W. Carter Doswell (2013) Mr. A. Hugh Ewing III (2013) The Rev. C. Neal Goldsborough (2015) Mrs. Martha W. High (2014) The Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith IV The Rev. Angela S. Ifill (2016) Ms. Elizabeth Cabell Jennings (2014) The Rev. Allan B. Johnson-Taylor (2014) The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly (2013) The Rt. Rev. William (Mike) Michie Klusmeyer The Rev. Thomas M. Kryder-Reid (2012) Mr. James R. Lowe, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Dr. Andrew J. MacBeth (2012) Mr. M. Lee Marston (2014) Ms. Sissy Poland (2012) The Rt. Rev. F. Neff Powell The Rev. Dr. Stanley W. Sawyer (2014)
The Rt. Rev. James J. Shand
The Rev. Dr. William R. Shiflet, Jr. (2013) The Rt. Rev. Eugene T. Sutton Dr. William G. Thomas III (2015) The Rev. Christine R. Whittaker (2013) The Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Wigner, Jr. (2014)
Ms. Louise Day Dodson The Rev. Rebecca Edwards
Celebrating 50 Years: Top, at the 2011 Convocation, the Rev. Peter M. Horn (center), the Rev. David Johnston, and other members of the Class of 1961, celebrate their 50th reunion. Bottom, even a freak October snow storm couldn’t keep seniors, Lara Shine and Laura Cochran, from heading to the annual Luther Bowl in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The Rev. A. Katherine Grieb, Ph.D. The Rev. William B. Roberts, Ph.D.
Ms. Virginia C. Wilder (’12) Student Body President
News from the Hill is published three times per year (March, June, and December) for alumni and friends by the Office of Public Affairs, Virginia Theological Seminary, 3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304. Editorial comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Cover: Renowned architect, Robert A.M. Stern, creates an ink rendering of the Seminary’s new chapel. Photo courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Center for Anglican Communion Studies
Anglican Endeavours: SRI LANKA
The Rt. Rev. Duleep De Chickera, 14th Bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka from 2001 to 2010, and his wife Geetha were in residence at Virginia Theological Seminary from September 3 to October 19, 2011.
the presence of the other in our common life together. This is one of the most important lessons in formation that residential seminary life offers. If this lesson is caught we will carry blessings into our congregations and the world. If it is disregarded and set aside we are the losers. Passing through the Seminary community is not enough; the Seminary community must pass through us. The reading and study we embarked on at VTS centered on a theological response to the UN doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). While there are serious obstacles to its implementation, the heart of this UN doctrine is compatible with the vision of the Gospel and most world religions. It is to create a more safe, just and reconciled world community. For disciples of Christ this desired world order is only possible through interactive community in God. We learn about ourselves and become in the life giving presence of God in Christ and each other; and when this happens we are set free from ourselves to cooperate with Christ and bring dignity and peace to all creation and joy to the heart of God. In Sri Lankan culture we never say good bye when we part. It always is, “we will go and come again.” This “going and coming” is what community life is all about; we belong and nothing separates us because separation severs us from the potential of self understanding and growth and to separate is to die. When Jesus taught that anger is as bad as murder, He could well have implied a double death when we disrupt or disregard community life. So, thank you for being our Gurus. We will go and come again; and so must you. - Bishop Duleep De Chickera & Geetha
few days ago I attended a Consultation convened by the World Council of Churches. It had an interesting theme; “ Christian self understanding in the context of Hinduism”. There had previously been similar Consultations on self understanding in the context of Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. The purpose of these gatherings, was to discern how living in Community with persons of our Sister Faiths reveal who we are as Christians and also challenge us to become the persons and Church we ought to become. This theme and exercise may sound novel but it is not. It is a method that Jesus used. On one occasion He challenged His disciples to understand true greatness in the context of a little child for whom “greatness” as importance mattered little. On another, in the context of a poor woman, He taught that true giving is not measured by how much is given, but by how much is withheld. One of His most dynamic teachings on the self understanding of
discipleship was in the context of the despised Samaritan. Using the imaginary example of the Samaritan, He taught that discipleship required us to cross boundaries of ethnicity and imagined superiority and demonstrate love for our neighbor if we really want to please God. Today this parable extends in its scope to challenge us to cross boundaries of caste, class, gender, color, sexual orientation and the whole of God’s created world. The Gospels are packed with instances of how effectively Jesus used this methodology to create self understanding on discipleship and we benefit immensely when we read them from this perspective. Geetha and I spent a very fulfilling sabbatical of six weeks with the VTS community. Our self understanding as disciples of Christ was challenged and enriched by the several interactions we had with you all and we leave VTS the more enlightened. This, after all, is what community life is all about; opening one’s self to the influence of Christ and growth in Christ through
News from the Hill · December 2011
Virginia Seminary Kicks Off Book Publishing Pilot Project
This summer, VTS launched an exploratory pilot project creating its own VTS Press brand. The first test publication, Go Ye Into All the World: Faith and Engagement, a collection of essays and sermons by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president, and edited by senior, Shireen R. Baker. Coordinated through the Office of the Dean and President, works published through VTS Press will focus on books about congregational development and various monographs. The works will be edited by students and the artwork commissioned within the VTS Community.
groups of seven or eight and work in a variety of communities and ministries to help transform the lives of others as well as their own. The students pitched tents in the Grove where they prayed and prepared for their big journey.
On the Holy Hill
sional exchange programs for the U.S. State Department and Defense Department that annually involved hundreds of participants and promoted mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other nations around the globe. She completed her M.Div. cum laude at Harvard Divinity School, M.Mus. at Boston University’s School of Music, and B.A. in history at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
VTS Students Raise Funds, Awareness for Homeless During Campus Walkathon
On November 5, over 80 students, faculty, and staff members at Virginia Theological Seminary gathered for the Seminary’s first ever campus walkathon to raise money for ALIVE! House in Alexandria, a shelter for women and families. The walk, organized by students, Andrew Terry (Diocese of Virginia), Brenda Sol (Diocese of Olympia) and Amber Carswell (Diocese of Arkansas) of the Social Concerns Committee, was one of many taking place in the DC Metro Area as part of the larger Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “Help the Homeless Walk.” Fannie Mae promised a grant of $15,000 to ALIVE! House if 850 people in the DC area walked to support the organization. The VTS walk raised $2,730 toward ALIVE!’s goal.
Katherine L. Wood Is New Head of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies
In September, VTS welcomed Katherine L. Wood as the new Associate Director for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and Interreligious Affairs. Wood has more than two decades of leadership experience in international relations, public affairs and educational settings. For 11 years she developed academic and profes-
World Race Kicks Off at VTS
VTS welcomed 50 team members of The World Race to campus this summer as they kicked off an 11 month, life-changing mission trip to 11 countries around the globe. Partnering with existing non-profits in some of the neediest areas in the world, this “squad” of 20-somethings split into
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
2011 Alumni Convocation
Above, clockwise from upper left corner: The Rev. Lauren Winner, this year’s Sprigg Lecturer; Bishops David Jones and Mark Dyer listen intently to Ms. Winner’s presentation; AAEC President, Day Dodson (‘99), who preached during the evening Eucharist serice; the Rev. Patrick Crerar (‘08); the Rev. Charles Shike (‘51) and his wife, Seetha; Francis Cox (‘81), her husband, Edwin, and the Rt. Rev. Bud Shand in the technology workshop; the Rev. Benjamin Speare-Hardy II (‘90); the Rev. Lucia Lloyd (‘05), seated; the Revs. Melodie Shobe (‘06), Allison Sandlin Liles (‘06) with her daughter, Pailet, and the Rev. Sarah Kinney Gaventa (‘05) with her son, Charlie.
News from the Hill · December 2011
Above, clockwise from upper left corner: Members of the Class of 1961, celebrating their 50th reunion; the Rev. Ed Martin (‘71) shares a laugh with Nan Hanway; the Rev. Dan Eckman, Jr. (‘72) at the Class Stewards meeting; the Revs. Kwabena Owusu Afriyie and Julius Jackson (both ‘88) at a workshop on biblical storytelling; the Rt. Rev. James J. Shand, bishop of Easton and VTS Chairman of the Board of Trustees, confers an honorary degree upon the Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith, IV, bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia; Diarmaid MacCulloch; and Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, who also received an honorary degree. News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Convocation: Honorary Degrees
Four Awarded with Honorary Degrees
FACULTY | NEWS:
Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams is Promoted
ollowing a unanimous vote by the Seminary’s Academic Affairs Committee and the Board of Trustees, Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D. was promoted to the position of full Professor. “The process is demanding and careful,” said Dean Markham. “By sheer hard work and exceptional ability, she has earned this recognition.” In 1999, Fentress-Williams earned her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Yale University. She received her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School in 1990 and her A.B. in English from Princeton University with certificates in AfricanAmerican Studies and American Studies in 1984. Prior to her appointment at Virginia Seminary in 2002, Fentress-Williams was a member of the faculty of Hartford Seminary as Professor of Hebrew Bible. The author of an upcoming book on Ruth, Fentress-Williams has published essays including, “The Bible in Dialogue” in September 11: Religious Perspectives on the Causes and Consequence, “Location, Location, Location: Tamar in the Joseph Cycle,” in Bakhtin and Genre, and “Exodus” in Biblia Africana.
n October 5 of this year, at the annual Academic Convocation, honorary doctorates were conferred upon four distinguished recipients. The Doctor in Divinity, honoris causa degree was awarded to the Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith, IV, bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, and Mr. Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch, professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford. The Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, was awarded to Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, member of the legendary women’s vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Mr. Sidney Buford Scott, community activist and chairman of Scott & Stringfellow, LLC. Ysaye M. Barnwell’s training as a Sign Language Interpreter led her to facilitate Sweet Honey in the Rock’s practice of making concerts accessible to the deaf through American Sign Language interpretation. Prior to becoming Bishop of Southern Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Herman (Holly) Hollerith IV served as Rector of Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, Virginia and Rector of Prince George Winyah, Georgetown, South Carolina. Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1987. In 1996, he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Thomas Cranmer: A Life. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, published in September 2009 with a related 6-part television series called A History of Christianity which first aired on BBC 4 in 2009, and BBC 2 and BBC 4 in 2010. Sidney Buford Scott recently celebrated his 49th anniversary with Scott & Stringfellow and continues to serve as Chairman of the firm’s Board of Directors. A community activist in his city of Richmond, Virginia, Scott helped found the Micah Association, a mentoring program that now actively partners 1300 persons in 105 faith communities to work with at-risk children in elementary schools. q
Above: Sidney Buford Scott receives an honorary degree from VTS Board Chairman, Bishop Shand.
News from the Hill · December 2011
Forges New Mission, Friendships for Haiti
by Scott Zetlan
he Rev. Wisnel Dejardin (VTS ’11) is working with his partners in the Diocese of Virginia to overcome the stark challenges he faces at the rural parish of Saint Marc’s in Miragoâne, Haiti. The small, impoverished community depends on assistance from the Diocese of Haiti and partner parishes in the U.S. Dejardin (pictured right) completed his field studies at Saint Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Herndon, Virginia. When the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in January 2010, killed his brother and two cousins, Dejardin was unable to return to Haiti to be with his family. So, he turned to his new community at Saint Timothy’s, and delivered a sermon the following Sunday. Moved by Dejardin and the situation in Haiti, the congregation of Saint Timothy’s began formulating an official Haiti ministry. Saint Timothy’s is now committed to supporting 18 children in the village of Chapateau, near Dejardin’s home town, until their graduation from secondary education. In November 2011, Saint Timothy’s sent its first mission trip to Haiti to meet the children and reunite with Dejardin. There, Dejardin related some of the difficulties he faces as the new pastor of St. Marc’s, which includes a church, school, and clinic. The church itself is in dire need of repair: cracks in the walls and a leaky tin roof make services impossible during the rainy season. Teachers who reside near St. Marc’s during the school week have been unpaid for months, and the schoolchildren have not been receiving their daily meal because promised funds arrive late or not at all. However, Dejardin remains hopeful that the relationships forged between U.S. and Haitian congregations will continue to improve conditions for his people. “I wish everybody courage and strength in this hard work,” said Dejardin. q Top photo by Scott Zetlan; right photo by William Craig Dubishar. News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
VTS Field Study
Student | Body | President
appy Advent. I pray that this season finds you watching and waiting, longing and anticipating. These words describe our mindset during this time of reflection. These words can also be used to describe the mental state of the class of 2012. We have entered into a time of reflection, of waiting and of longing. The job search has begun. As a class we gathered together in October to talk about competition and community. We discussed the OTM Portfolio, how to dress for an interview, how to write a resume and how to prepare for an interview. Although these items are important and valuable, we continued with our discussion to address community norms. More specifically, how will be support one another as we search for a job? Two items came out of this discussion that really helped to focus our prayers, our discernment and our approach to this rite of passage. The first insight: Pray for the church that is looking for you. They may be grieving the loss of a beloved staff member. They may be realizing that the current situation does not meet their needs. Pray for them during this
time of discernment. Pray for them and pray for you and your family. In addition to the action of prayer a second train of thought came up during our workshop. No one else is going to get your call. This is not about my job or your job or her job or his job. This is about God’s call in our lives. No one else but you can answer God’s call for you. We must tune our hearts and our minds to listen to and for God. We must be ready for God to call us in a direction we didn’t anticipate or to a place we would never consider on our own. This is true for the class of 2012 but I would say this is true of all people seeking and serving Christ. Saying yes to God will more than likely lead us to a place of discomfort, newness and unfamiliarity but saying yes to God will also change our lives in ways we could never imagine. In the spirit of Advent I pray that today finds you watching and waiting, longing and anticipating the mystery and miracle of Jesus Christ. May your heart be a manger for his love. q Virginia Wilder, ‘12 Diocese of Western North Carolina
Friars on the Move: Whether our Friars are playing Frisbee Football, raising money for mission work, or occupying Washington, they are always on the move, seeking God’s will for their lives. Top photo (from left to right), juniors, Amber Carswell, Mary Alice Mathison, Benjamin Hart, Dennis Reid, and Daniel Stroud; middle photo, Curtis Farr (‘13) and Joel Atong raise awareness about the Missionary Society (‘12); bottom photo (from left to right): juniors, Jonathan Chesney, Mary Alice Mathison, Weston Mathews, Dorian Del Priore, and Nick Hull “occupy” Washington.
News from the Hill · December 2011
Student | Reflection
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord...”
Anyone who has ever visited my home can attest to the fact that housekeeping is not one of my skills. When the children were little, it was simply impossible for me to keep up. When they grew up and established homes of their own, I had the time to keep a clean house, but it seems there was always something more interesting or more important to do than removing dust from flat surfaces or vacuuming rugs. Most of the time, you can write your name, or any other message you like, in the dust on my tabletops. I never seem to mind that it’s there or that it might have messages in it. Given my penchant for not wanting to waste time cleaning, it surprises even me when I find myself at one particular time of year cleaning like crazy. It all began a few years ago when I went to put the creche out on top of the piano and even I was alarmed at the amount of dust that had collected on it’s otherwise well waxed surface. I decided that I couldn’t put anything as meaningful and sacred as the ceramic creche on a surface that was so obviously in need of attention. I began to dust away. Once the surface sparkled to my own satisfaction, I unpacked the creche and lovingly placed each ceramic piece in its appropriate spot. As I did that, I began to think about a deeper meaning of the verse that kept circling in my head: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” I thought about all the things we do to prepare for the holidays: we clean the house, put clean linens on the beds for guests, write Christmas cards, buy special gifts, put decorations all over the house, make our favorite foods, put up the Christmas tree, wrap the packages, etc., etc. etc. It seems the list never ends. Those of us already living in overdrive find ourselves in a kind of double overdrive... and Christ himself seems to be at the bottom of the list. As I began to clean the house, I began to think about Christ. I began to talk to Him and to ask Him about preparing a way for Him. I began to think about what I needed to clean out of my heart as I was cleaning away the dust and grime from my home to put up the decorations designed to honor Him. As I swept the floor and wiped surfaces clean, I realized that I also needed to sweep out the grudges I’d been holding in my heart during the last year, I began to realize that while it was relatively easy to list my sins and misdeeds during the year what I really needed to do was start pushing the heavy broom of forgiveness to sweep away completely the hurts and anger I had been nursing all year. In order to make room for Christ, I had to get rid of all of the trash that occupied my heart. I needed to spruce up my soul in the same way I had been sprucing up my house. Preparing for Christmas suddenly took on a whole new meaning. As I went about my Christmas preparation chores, I spiritually cleared a way for Christ so that “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” became the background and foundation for my Christmas preparations each year. - Liz Tomlinson, Class of 2014 Diocese of Virginia
Above: Students led the first ever campus-wide walkathon to raise money for ALIVE! House for the Homeless. Led by Andrew Terry (‘12), Brenda Sol (‘12, pictured above, far left) and Amber Carswell (‘14) of the Social Concerns Committee, the students raised $2,730. News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Institute for Christian Formation & Leadership
Evangelism | Matters
This past September, the Rev. David Gortner, Ph.D., director of VTS’ Doctor of Ministry Program and professor of Evangelism and Congregational Leadership, led a well-attended, all day “bootcamp” on evangelism. Here he shares his thoughts on the topic:
are open to witness God at work in the lives of others, even in the most unlikely of situations, where the presence of the Holy is named for people, where Christ is met and honored even by name. Lives of witness are lives of continuous, easy testimony to what is known deep in one’s bones. Our testimony comes from experiences and insights of our own lives and the lives of all Christian people we have encountered who have taught us to see and engage the world differently. A lively public faith is a faith lived in all settings. A deep habit of being has formed, an ease has developed, so that all of life is God’s stage, a space of discovery and home—in the family, in the neighborhood, at work, at play, in the store, in the restaurant, at the DMV, in the jail, on the bus. The habit of expecting and attending to the presence of the Holy Spirit becomes like the notice of temperature and season and weather. And this habit makes our speech easy. q
vangelism matters, and is at the heart of who we are as Christians. We have pledged ourselves in baptism: - to seek and serve Christ in each person we encounter - to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ Jesus.
Words matter. And not ALL words matter. The language of the heart matters. Lives of witness are lives where word and deed are unified, where the Holy Spirit is expected, where words reflect the poetry and drama and comedy of life blessed and infused and redeemed by God, where the washing of feet is accompanied by conversation that invites understanding: “Do you know and understand what I have done?” Lives of witness are lives on high alert, where eyes and ears and hearts
Right: God talk - Participants from the Evangelism Bootcamp discuss what it felt like to talk about their faith in public.
News from the Hill · December 2011
New Ministry Resident Program Supports Formation of New Clergy
In August 2011, Virginia Theological Seminary, in partnership with six congregations in the dioceses of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, launched The Ministry Resident Program (MRP) aimed at forming effective ordained leadership for the church. Six first-year M.Div. students at VTS have accepted invitations to participate in the MRP as “ministry residents” in one of the six participating congregations, serving for 30 hours per week in their final year of study. Following graduation they will continue in this resident, mentoring program for an additional year as paid full-time clergy. In developing the curriculum, VTS has worked in collaboration with the six congregations Supported by the Lilly Endowment, the program combines the practice of ministry with reading, peer learning, mentoring, readings, and small group seminars and discussions. “We think this is one model for enabling the transition to ministry in a strong parish context with mentoring and other means of support, “ said Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs at VTS, “including enabling the development, as Donald Schoen says, of ‘reflective practitioners.’” The MRP is drawn from the model developing from a program emphasizing resident mentoring at Christ Church, Alexandria. That program was directed by the Rev. Dr. Carol Pinkham Oak, who now serves as the chair of the MRP Board and rector of one of the participating congregations, St. John’s Church, Ellicott City, Maryland. The curriculum for the residences ties practice with critical reflections, supervision, peer learning, and seminar discussions. The curriculum development is underway through the collaboration between our Director of Field Education, the Rev. Dr. Allison St. Louis, other members of the VTS faculty, and two of the rectors of the participating congregations, the Rev. Dr. William Hague from St. Luke’s Church in Kensington, Maryland, and the Rev. Dr. Stephanie Nagley from St. Luke’s Church in Bethesda. The other three participating congregations are Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia; St. Paul’s Church, Alexandria, Virginia; and St. Paul’s Church, K Street, Washington, DC. “Along with the Second Three Years Program of mentoring and residence for our graduates,” added Sedgwick, “the MRP is part of VTS’s long-term commitment to new educational models that will develop and sustain leadership for the Episcopal Church. We hope it will provide a residency model for priestly formation that can be developed by dioceses and congregations in other settings. ”
save the dates
Events you won’t want to miss!
February 11, 2012
“Leadership for the Changing Church: Effective Clergy-Lay Partnerships to Revitalize Congregations” Episcopal Church Foundation 9 AM – 3 PM Cost: $40
February 24 - March 3, 2012
Vacation Bible School Fair Cost: Free
February 27 - March 2, 2012
Study Refresher for Church Leaders Cost: $645 ($565 if using a free alum night)
March 10, 2012
“Fashioning Lifelong Faith through Creative Curriculum” 10 AM - 3 PM Cost: $40
March 16, 2012
Fridays at the Seminary: Nimble Believing: Lenten Quiet Day 9 AM - 3 PM Cost: $40
April 11, 2012
“Building Philanthropic and Collaborative Relationships at Episcopal Early Childhood Education Programs” 9 AM – 3 PM Cost: $ 60 (NAES members) $ 75 (non-members)
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Office of Alumni Affairs
Alumni | Director’s | Note
these regional efforts in the next several months and chapters will be phased in gradually in 2012 and 2013. Over the past few months I’ve had the chance to connect with many of you and hear about your ministries, your challenges and joys. I continue to be inspired by your stories and always eager to hear of your news. Please let us know what’s happening in your lives – a job change, a life change, a new ministry, new publication – we’d love to hear about it. Send a quick email to email@example.com. Also in 2012 we will be on the road quite a bit, meeting with Alumni and Friends of the Seminary around the country, to be in conversation about Seminary life and to discuss plans for the new Chapel. Mark your calendars now for the VTS Seminary Dinner at General Convention this summer on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. We have a special evening planned at the Eiteljorg Museum and look forward to seeing many of you in Indianapolis. And coming up on February 5, 2012, is Theological Sunday – please keep VTS in your prayers and, we trust, in the 1% giving plans for your parish. Thank you for your continued prayers for the Seminary. And please, do stay in touch with news, questions, suggestions or comments. Shelagh Casey Brown Director, Alumni, Annual Fund, and Church Relations
It’s been a busy fall here in the Office of Alumni, Annual Fund, and Church Relations. As we look toward the end of 2011, here are some fall highlights and items of note:
Alumni Convocation, Sprigg Lectures, and Class Reunions
Over 150 alumni gathered in October for the 2011 Alumni Convocation, with class reunion gatherings, lectures by Duke University professor, Lauren Winner, and noted church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, updates on Seminary life and the new Chapel. The Academic Convocation Evensong included the awarding of honorary degrees and a compelling sermon by AAEC President Day Dodson. It was a time of catching up with friends old and new, sharing worship, and breaking bread together.
We were delighted by the success of the Fall Phonathon, held November 1-4. Thanks to the great participation by students, and the superb leadership of Dean Ian Markham and Vice President Barney Hawkins, we exceeded goal by over 50%, raising close to $75,000. The 2011-12 Annual Fund is off to a strong start and we’re counting on that strength continuing through the remainder of the fiscal year. Many thanks to all of you who have already contributed to this year’s Annual Fund. A special note about a new option for giving: monthly deductions from your credit card or bank account.
Looking ahead, Regional Chapters will be developed as yet another way to build networks that will also help us support you and our connection with you. You’ll hear more about
Left: At the Alumni Convocation, the Class of 2001 celebrates their 10 years of ministry.
News from the Hill · December 2011
Office of Alumni Affairs
Please share your news with us! Write: Office of Alumni Affairs, 3737 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 703-461-1736 Fax: 703-370-0138 Email Address Changes to: email@example.com
The Rev. Dr. Shannon Ledbetter, canon, Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn, England.
The Rev. Nathan Rugh, rector of St. Augustine by-the-Sea, Santa Monica, CA.
The Rev. Michael C. Nation, chaplain, Ministry on the River, the Seamen’s Church Institute; pastoral care ministry for mariners in the Lower Mississippi River Region, Vicksburg, MS.
The Rev. Jason R. Cox, associate rector for Youth Ministries, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC.
The Rev. Michael R. Pipkin, associate, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte, NC. The Rev. Lyndon Shakespeare, director of Program Ministry, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC.
The Rev. Betsy Baumgarten, chaplain, Coast Episcopal School, Long Beach, MS. The Rev. Richard M. Humm, rector, St. John the Evangelist, Lockport, IL. The Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf, rector, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA. The Rev. Gwendolyn Tobias, associate priest, St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Boynton Beach, FL.
The Journal The Seminary’s magazine for alumni and friends. Once per year, in the fall. News from the Hill The Seminary’s newsletter for supporters of VTS. Three times per year, in March, June, and December. The eNews Email updates about happenings at VTS. The first day of each month. The Dean’s Commentary Daily Seminary updates from Dean Markham and/or other guest contributors. Daily, Monday-Friday. Alumni Convocation 2012 Annual conference for graduates of the Seminary. Next year: October 2 & 3. You can also find us on:
The Rev. Allan B. Johnson-Taylor, rector, St. Paul’s Rock Creek Parish, Washington, DC.
The Rev. Roger “Kevin” Kelly, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, LA.
The Rev. Barbara “Bambi” C. Willis, priest-in-charge, St. Asaph’s Episcopal Church, Bowling Green, VA.
The Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly, rector of St. Margaret’s Church, Plainview, NY. The Rev. Robert Wetherington, priest-in-charge, Church of the Redeemer: Biloxi, MS.
The Rev. Evan Clendenin, curate, The Cathedral of St. Paul, Erie, PA. The Rev. Ann Dale, supply priest, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Sunbury, NC The Rev. Heather Erickson, associate rector, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills, CA. The Rev. Kathy Guin, assistant vicar, St. Peter’s in the Woods, Fairfax Station, VA.
Left: the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde (M.Div.,‘88; D.Min. ‘08) at her consecration on November 12 at the Washington National Cathedral.
Photo by Leta Dunham
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Office of Alumni Affairs
The Rev. Lisa Itinger Hoffman, vicar, St. Barnabas by the Bay Episcopal Church, Villas, NJ. The Rev. Tracey Kelly, religion teacher, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA. The Rev. Dorothella Littlepage, urban assistant, St. Stephen’s Memorial Episcopal Church, Lynn, MA. The Rev. James Livingston, chaplain, St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church, San Juan Capistrano, CA. Ms. Randi H. Rowe, associate for Youth Formation, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Highland, MD. The Rev. Patricia M. Sexton, rector, All Saints’ Church, Cayce, SC. The Rev. Norman Whitmire, Jr., assistant to the rector, St. David’s Church, Ashburn, VA.
On December 3, the Fightin’ Friars whomped the Penguins 26-0 during the annual VTS vs. GTS football game. Good sportsmanship and fun prevailed!
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Students held a benefit concert in early December to benefit a medical clinic in Myanmar. Thanks to the generosity of its patrons, the concert raised $3,370.
On November 29, 2011, at Episcopal Charities’ Annual Tribute Dinner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, the Rt. Reverend Herbert A. Donovan, Jr. (VTS ‘57, pictured far left) and his wife, Dr. Mary Sudman Donovan (right), were honored. The award was presented by the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, bishop of New York. Episcopal Charities, the outreach arm of the Diocese of New York, provides funding and support to parish-based programs serving children and adults in need on a non-sectarian basis. One hundred percent of Tribute Dinner proceeds go directly to support its 90 programs throughout the New York area.
News from the Hill · December 2011
The Civil War: A Student’s Life in Exile
This year, the City of Alexandria, Virginia, commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the city’s role as the longest occupied territory of the war. In this third of three articles about that period, the Rev. Edward H. Ingle, Class of 1864, recounts his experience as student at a Seminary in exile.
“In the fall of 1861, a few Theological students gathered at the call of the Rev. Dr. Sparrow, at Staunton, Virginia, to continue the studies which had been interrupted at Alexandria by the war. A little later Dr. Sparrow was joined by Professor Packard, who remainedin Staunton until the following May. “Four or five students studied under these professors at this time. William H. Meade and Philip D. Thompson constituted the senior class at first. Telfair hadgson afterwards joined it. “In the spring of 1862 Staunton was threatened with a raid by Federal troops and it was thought best to remove the Seminary, which had already been driven from Alexandria, to a less exposed part of the state. “The Rev. John T. Clark, rector of Roanoke Parish, Halifax County, who lived on his large tobacco plantation and whose generosity knew no bounds, invited Dr. Sparrow and his family and as many students as his house would accommodate, to make his home their home, and his offer was gratefully accepted...” “While the Seminary was in Halifax some of the students held services for the negroes on Mr. Clark’s and neighboring plantations. The Rev. Mr. Clark himself had taken Holy Orders primarily in oerder that he might discharge, what he felt to be his responsibilities to his own negroes, although he afterwards became rector of the nity of hearing Dr. Sparrow preach occasionally... I recall a conversation which took place in the church yard of Trinity Church on a Sunday morning after one of Dr. Sparrow’s sermons. A group of three distinguished men stood together discussing the sermon they had just heard. ‘But,’ said Judge Sheffey, ‘certainly Dr. Sparrow can dive down deeper than any man I ever heard preach.’ ‘Yes, said Colonel John B. Baldwin, in his deep voice, ‘and stay under longer.’ ‘Yes,’ said Bishop Wilmer, in his high falsetto tone, ‘and come up dryer.’ The doctor’s sermons were undeniably long and they were often too profound for shallow listeners, but to intelligent, thoughtful men they were full of inspiration and eloquent in the best sense. On the whole the students who worked under Dr. Sparrow at this period might well consider themselves highly favored by the rare combination which they had in him of intellectual stimulus and religious inspiration.” Upon graduation from VTS in May 1894, the Rev. Edward Ingle was ordained a Deacon and served as a chaplain in the northern Virginia army until April 1865. Of his work in the army, Ingle wrote, "Written sermons were not the proper 'ammunition' for use in the army. 'The paper' was found to be a non-conductor, and words straight from the heart were the only 'arrows' that seemed to go to the mark."q
Goodwin, William A.R., A History of The Theological Seminary in Virginia. New York: The Du Bois Press, 1923. Photo: Civil-War-Photos.com.
The Rev. Edward H. Ingle, VTS 1864 parish in which he lived.” “My own personal experience is confined to a period of about seven months in 1863 and 1864, during which I was a student at Staunton, Virginia under the Rev. William Sparrow, D.D., who was ‘Professor of Everything’ in the Seminary, who was the dean and the faculty all in one, and how indeed carried the whole Institution under his hand and brain. He taught us Hebrew, New Testament Greek, Evidences, church History and Systematic Divinity, and he taught them all well, for he was not only an accomplished scholar and a profound theologian, but also a magnetic and an inspiring teacher, who roused the faculties of his students to their best endeavor. Above all, he exercised over us a deep spiritual influence and we felt it a great privilege to be associated with him day by day and to come under the spell of his exalted personality.” “Besides all this we had the opportu-
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Chapel for the Ages Update
A Season of Planning
Based on recommendations by the Chapel for the Ages Committee to the board's Building and Grounds Committee, the trustees of Virginia Theological Seminary unanimously approved the Chapel Concept Designs as developed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York. The building envisioned will complement the red brick of the historic buildings currently on campus and will include a slate roof and a motor court at the ceremonial entrance to the chapel. The blueprint for the chapel acknowledges the need for support rooms such as a sacristy, a vesting room, a choir room, and a nursery. The worship space is designed in the shape of a Greek cross with seating such that no one will be situated more than seven rows away from the altar. The design allows for plenty of natural light although no decision has been made about the use of stained glass. "Our trustees are completely engaged in the building of our new chapel,” said Dean Markham. “Not only have they given 100% financially to our efforts, they have worked hard to ensure that this new place of worship will serve the community for generations to come.” Robert A.M. Stern Architects' design also responds to projects that have for years been under consideration at the Seminary: the repositioning of the Welcome Center’s entrance toward Seminary Road and the relocation of the Seminary’s main drive-in entrance to the west along Seminary Road across from the Seminary Hill neighborhood.
Going Over the Options (clockwise): VTS Vice President of Administration and Finance, Heather Zdancewicz and the Rev. Dr. Bill Shiflet, chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee; Robert A.M. Stern Associate, Rosa Maria Colinia; landscape architect, Michael Vergason; and Grant F. Marani, partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
News from the Hill · December 2011
Office of Institutional Advancement
Institutional | Advancement
ence and wealth, all belong to the whole world….” If we belong to God, we belong to the world—“for God so loved the world….” At the heart of Jesus’ teachings was this corporate understanding of money and all that we possess. For those of us who have much, we must conclude at some point that we cannot be rich by ourselves. There is an interdependence of rich and poor which we overlook at our own peril. As Stringfellow asserts, “we live in this world at each other’s expense.” This is a confession we must make in this day of “Occupy Wall Street” and longer lines at Food Banks. The poor need the rich; and the rich need the poor. Extremes, however, are not helpful! Giving to our parish church and to the church’s institutions is using our money sacramentally. We give because God loves us in Jesus Christ. We give because we are part of the Body of Christ—and thereby part of the world that God loves so much. We give because we belong to each other, rich and poor. Your gifts to VTS help us form Christcentered leaders who will go out and “spend” the church for the sake of the whole world. We do not form technicians. We do not form leaders who will spend their time maintaining the church as it is. We form leaders who are about God’s mission in the world—men and women who seek the mind of Christ in all things. We want to form leaders who lose their lives in service so that the world will be given life. q
Sacramental Money: Belonging to the World
by the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D.
s we move rapidly toward the turning of the year, we give thanks if you have contributed this year to the Annual Fund. If not, please consider a gift in this calendar year. The Seminary’s fiscal year is June 30-July 1—so we keep two calendars, as it were. I always find this confusing. Whenever you give, we have glad hearts because you are helping VTS do the work we feel God is calling us to do. The Annual Fund matters. We need to raise at least $790,000 for the 2011-2012 budget cycle. We can do this—even as we prepare to approach friends and alumni/ae for funds to build a new chapel. If you have questions about your pledge or gift, please call our new Director of Alumni, Annual Fund and Church Relations, Shelagh Casey Brown. Her telephone number is 703-461-1711; her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Most people would like the Church to be silent when it comes to money. We do not want people (church, government, family et al) telling us how to
spend our hard-earned money. It’s ours, thank you very much. But then we know that the money we have is not really ours. William Stringfellow, a thoughtful mid-twentieth century Episcopal layman and lawyer, makes it plain: “The charity of Christians, in other words, in the use of money sacramentally—in both liturgy and in the world—has no serious similarity to the conventional charity but is always a specific dramatization of the members of the Body of Christ losing their life in order that the world be given life. For members of the church, therefore, it always implies a particular confession that their money is not their own because their lives are not their own but, by the example of God’s own love, belong to the world.” I do think Stringfellow gets it right. As Christians, we belong to the world. He confesses: “…one’s money and possessions, talents and time, influ-
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
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